1. Care.com: probably the “IT” care-taker search site of the moment, it offers the ability to search for all types of child care from babysitters, nannies, au pairs, daycare centers, in-home daycares, and even private tutors. You can join for free (with limited user privileges) and browse the profiles of the type of caretaker you’re looking for. With a paid membership, you have access to more capabilities such as being able to contact the candidate directly through the site. Note: while sites like this claim that they perform background searches on their candidates, it’s our parental responsibility to carefully research an individual and screen them thoroughly.
2. Urbansitter.com: Urbansitter is another search engine, but with the added convenience of being able to book a sitter or nanny at the last minute. You can search sitters/nannies in your area, filter them by the date/time that you need, book them online (or set up a meeting), and you can even make payments via your phone. Everything is done online, making things convenient. Another feature that sets Urbansitter apart is that it can offer you those nannies that have repeat bookings, or, even better, those nannies that your friends or people that you might know have used and approved (Facebook or LinkedIn profile required to access this feature).
3. Department of Public Social Services: check the DPSS (or equivalent) of your local county. In LA, there’s the LADPSS and their site offers a childcare search feature that provides the names of licensed childcare centers, as well as in-home daycare facilities. It’s important to find a licensed facility because in order to keep their license, they have to keep up to a certain code designated by the local county. They are subject to unannounced visits and checks by the local DPSS so they’re usually better than unlicensed care facilities.
4. Social Networking Groups: mommy social networking groups are lethal. You surely don’t want to upset anyone in those groups because one bad experience can make word spread like wildfire. They certainly watch out for each other, especially when they have a negative experience with a caretaker or daycare center. Conversely, if they have a great experience, they share too. So join a few groups and ask the mommies.
5. Word of mouth: the good old fashioned way. Put the word out there amongst your friends and family that you’re looking for child care. Ask around the playdate groups and “Mommy and Me” classes. Don’t be shy to ask a mom at the park about her caretaker or daycare. The more information you know, the better off you’ll be.
6. Nanny steal: not recommended, but I’ve heard it’s been done. This is where you go to a park and observe all the nannies and their little clients. You watch for the one that you would like and you engage them in conversation, hoping that you could entice her to come work for your family instead (be it with better benefits, higher pays, etc.) Again, I reiterate that this is not a cool thing to do (think about the Golden Rule). But, in keeping with the article’s purpose, I’m offering up a variety of options. Popular, or not.

I completely get it. Letting go isn’t as easy as Frozen makes it out to be, but remember, so many parents do this, and they do it everyday. You’re not alone. If you find a fantastic daycare, nanny, or au pair, your baby will be happy and so will you. Good luck!

Leave a reply

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>